The Tour De Yorkshire aside, Redcar was the centre of the sporting universe at Bank Holiday weekend. The dog decided the excitement of Redcar Town had been too much for her on the Saturday, so she wasn’t available for selection at the big event on Bank Holiday Monday. She doesn’t do big crowds. She had seen enough of town on Saturday afternoon, when crowds were not really an issue. After the discovery that the Coatham Bowl was no longer, we had wandered round the sea front towards town. A new building stands near the amusements. It might have a title of TunedIn, but I can’t honestly say I knew what it has as a function. There seemed to be few folk around there, so perhaps I am not the only one. The Boating Lake ……….and I stress according to the website address, it is …”theboatinglake” at the forefront of boating lakes everywhere. It re-opened last year and now features some rather grand large scale model boats …. a sort of giant train set, except for boating enthusiasts. I noted under covers in the corner, a new addition …. BoatyMcBoatFace. A shame then the organisers of the Antarctic survey seemed to have
changed their minds about the naming competition, now the choice didn’t meet their ideas.
The Antarctic theme is quite apt, because just along from the Boating Lake are a group of penguins. The sea wall is decorated with a series of small murals. They are actually rather good and feature a series of maritime themes. The sea wall is also a fine structure. I am sure that it does a very good job of protecting the town from the ravages of the North Sea, but is also does a good job of hiding the sea from view. A major queue was building outside the Regent Cinema. An early showing of the Jungle Book was attracting the crowds. The Regent was apparently built as the New Pavilion in 1928 and adopted the name from a town centre cinema long since gone. In 1937, there were 3 cinemas in town. Today, the Regent has had a fresh splash of paint and looks appealing as an art deco design parked on the seafront. The building was originally at the entrance to Coatham Pier. The town had two piers, both also now long gone. The Coatham version never recovered from being
cut in two pieces to deter the Germans as using it as a spring board to invasion in World War 2. It is quite ironic that one of the biggest things ever to have happened in Redcar in recent years was the filming in 2006 of World War 2 epic, Atonement, on this very beach. Grandkids will be hearing about that story years down the line …… let me tell you about the day I met Kiera Knightley.
This area of Redcar doubled as 1940 Dunkirk in the film.
The majority will always look fondly at the Regent, but it is very much a mixed bag with the most controversial building in Redcar today – Redcar Beacon. It was envisaged as a Vertical Pier and is often referred to in less savoury terms. It’s success to date is a matter of opinion. Winner of a carbuncle award for architecture – it certainly allows you to see over the seawall, (as well as the 360 degrees view over town) I have been up once for curiosity, but not today. The dog wasn’t welcome!
The pedestrianized High Street wasn’t humming with people. It was cold
and uninviting. I noticed that another licenced premises had bit the dust. The Clarendon by The Clock was no more. The Clock always was the focal point of the town centre and it was originally commissioned to celebrate the succession of King Edward VII to the throne. Alas the £300 raised by public subscription wasn’t enough, so the plan was shelved. On Edward’s death in 1911, the plan was revitalised as a memorial clock and it finally came to be with an opening on 29 January 1913. The Warrenby band no less, played at the opening ceremony. The Clock is now Grade II listed, but the bell was removed to a church in Marske in the 1970s. I wandered back to the car past the old Reeds Sport Shop - purveyors of school uniforms and sporting goods of yesteryear. If you didn't get your football boots from Jack Hatfield Sports in downtown Middlesbrough, they were almost certainly from Reeds. The ambitions of many a John Hickton started there. I didn't know it at this point, but Jack Hatfield would make an appearance later in the afternoon.
In another piece of irony, the Clock features as
part of the club emblem for Redcar Athletic …….as they put it the premier club of Redcar. Bank Holiday Monday was the date fixed for the Wearside League Cup Final between two teams from nowhere near Wearside at a venue far from the banks of the river. Stockton Town have dominated the Wearside League for the last few years and Redcar Athletic are strong challengers. The venue for the match was chosen as Green Lane, at the extremities of Redcar East. Stockton are busy upgrading their ground to meet the challenges of Northern League Division 2. Athletic have developed their wide open spaces near the Rugby Club with a clubhouse and a small covered terrace. They are working on the rest. The car park was full when I arrived. A crowd of approximately 150 had turned up. Marske had been playing a derby against Guisborough in the traditional morning kick off, so a few had made their way down from that. A healthy group of Stockton were in evidence. A random Huddersfield turned up for good measure ..... at least he had a Huddersfield Town hat on. The Green Lane ground was a bit more developed than their counterparts at
Redcar Town and even featured pitchside advert, including the Jack Hatfield Sports mentioned earlier. If you like your football grounds with a back drop of Huntcliff in the Northern East's premier seaside resort down the road, Green Lane is for you.
I was amused by a name on the team sheet for Stockton Town. Stockton, no less. Stockton scores for Stockton. He didn't actually. Shame. Stockton Town generally looked good, until they got mugged against the run of play for Redcar’s goal. Stockton had a potential goal opportunity denied early on, after a comical set of circumstances when the lino flagged, the ref said play on, the striker got brought down for the penalty and half of Redcar cast doubt on the parentage of the officials and then everybody came to their senses because it was offside in the first place. The Redcar goal provoked Stcokton into an almost instant response and they never looked back. As one wag chuckled, “I don’t why they took it out the trophy cabinet”.
The wind made it difficult for both teams and you had to wonder how much decent football would be played in the middle of a December storm,
so close to the sea. The wind was equally troublesome for the Wearside League officials, as the Cup took a nosedive from the trophy table to the paving slab below.
Appendix 1 Wearside League Cup Final Date: Monday 2nd May 2016 @ 1330 Hours Venue: Green Lane, Redcar Attendance: Est 150
Redcar Athletic FC 1 - 1 Stockton Town FC Scorers: 0 – 1 Lewis Wood (Redcar Athletic), 1 – 1 Hannah (Stockton Town), 1 -2 Hannah (Stockton Town), 1 -3 Coleman (Stockton Town)
Redcar Athletic: Berry, Wood (Liam), Kirk, Kamara, Bennett, Woodhall, Wood (Lewis), Woodhouse, Swann, Callender, Webster Substitutes: Atkinson, Farrier, Skelton, Massaquoi. Stockton Town: Jordan, Garbutt, McAvoy, Cassavella, Nicholson, Coulthard, Scaife-Wheatley, Roberts, Coleman, Hannah, Stockton. Substitutes: Dunwell, Priestley, Lovett, Matthews, Arthur.
Tot: 3.067s; Tpl: 0.126s; cc: 12; qc: 37; dbt: 0.0437s; 2; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.4mb